Another sleepless night

I was having trouble sleeping. I thought it was because I have a sort of “rubbed raw” feeling in my arm pit. I got the same thing last time – because I can’t lift the arm, my arm pit doesn’t dry out properly and so it rubs painfully. But then I realized there was a lot of light coming from my office. And so I went to have a look, and sure enough my Linux box had crashed, frozen on boot, and so therefore the screen saver wasn’t shutting down the monitors properly.

A few days ago I got a little overzealous in removing old kernels, and since then every time the update process has installed new stuff it’s given me a failure message about running lilo. (Yes, I still use lilo rather than grub because when I first installed this system you couldn’t use grub with a software raid and lvm2 – one of these days I’m going to have to reinstall just to correct that and a few other nagging problems)

I realized that if that was the cause of the problem, I was going to have to boot with a live or rescue CD and remount everything, chroot to it, and fix the lilo problems and run the lilo installer command. So the first thing I tried was downloading the “Ubuntu Rescue Remix”, burning a CD with it, and booting with it. I discovered the hard way that the “Rescue Remix” is a i686 kernel, which means I can’t chroot to my amd64 install and expect to run commands. Oops.

Next I started to download the latest Ubuntu CD. Chrome said I had 27 minutes remaining, so while I waited I dug out the previous Ubuntu CD, and booted with that. I had to “apt-get install lvm2” and “apt-get install mdadm”, but afterwards I was able to “mdadm –assemble” both software RAIDs, and mount the lvm2 partitions under /mnt. I chrooted to /mnt, and ran “lilo”. First problem was that the boot drive was specified using /dev/disk/by-id/…., which it didn’t like in the chroot environment, so I changed that to /dev/sda. Then it complained about the “Linux.old”, so I commented that out. With both of those changes made, lilo installed without any further errors, and when I rebooted everything came up fine.

I’m just manually restarting all my nightly backups which normally happen during the time the computer was down, and then I’m going to try to get an hour or two sleep.